Welcome from Caroline Clarke

At the Royal Free London (RFL), we have been celebrating the remarkable achievements of our staff with our annual Oscars awards.
It has been a privilege to recognise colleagues for their efforts over the last 18 months.
We handed out 38 awards across the trust and winners were praised for their calm attitude, innovative thinking and for going above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full details of all the winners can be found on our website.
We have also been thanking staff who have been with the trust for 25 and 40 years for their outstanding work and the dedication that they have shown.
I am extremely proud of everything our staff have been doing and continue to do to support our patients.

Kind regards

Caroline Clarke

Group chief executive
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Visiting guidance

Across the RFL, we are facilitating pre-booked visiting for adult in-patients on some of our wards.
This must be the same visitor throughout the duration of a patient’s stay in hospital (a patient cannot have different visitors on different days).
All visits must be booked in advance, the visitor must demonstrate a negative lateral flow test and sign the trust’s visitor contract. The visit should last for one hour only. Visitors will be asked to wear personal protective equipment such as a surgical mask.
The only visiting currently being facilitated at Chase Farm Hospital is compassionate visiting.
Full details can be found on our website.

North Central London Start Well programme

Together with our partners in north central London’s (NCL) integrated care system, the trust has started a long-term piece of work called ‘Start Well’.

The Start Well programme will look at children and young people, maternity and neonatal services across NCL to check they are delivering the best care possible to the communities we serve.

The programme will be reviewing emergency and elective services for children and young people at the Royal Free London, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Whittington Health NHS Trust, alongside maternity and neonatal services at these providers.

We will keep you updated on this work in future updates.

World Prematurity Day 

Staff and patients at Barnet Hospital’s neonatal unit took part in celebrations to mark World Prematurity Day last week.
Neonatal and maternity staff across the world wore purple to raise awareness of premature birth and the impact it can have on families.
Read about how our staff marked the day on our website.

One kind word: anti-bullying week

Staff across the trust stood together and shared messages of kindness as part of anti-bullying week. This year’s theme was ‘One Kind Word’.
Staff and teams shared examples of kind acts or words they have experienced.
The RFL is committed to stamping out bullying and harassment and does not tolerate any form of aggression or hate. The trust has a tackling bullying and harassment group, and there are various networks staff can access to find support if they have experienced or witnessed bullying and harassment in the trust.
Read more here.

Latest information for the public

We have a dedicated COVID-19 section on our website. The latest information for patients and visitors, and our patient resources library, can be found here. This page is continually being updated to reflect the changing situation.

New book 'will help children understand dementia'

Katie Faulkner, a physiotherapist at Barnet Hospital, has written a book to help young children gain a greater understanding of how people are affected by dementia.
Katie, who specialises in caring for patients living with dementia, wrote the book, Big Bear, Little Bear and Dementia, for children who might have a relative with the condition. Katie herself understands some of the difficulties families face as her great grandmother was diagnosed with dementia when Katie was eight years old.
Katie had the idea for the book during lockdown and collaborated with artist Iain Welch, who provided the drawings.
Read more on our website.

Royal Free Charity Breaking Point appeal 

The Royal Free Charity completed its 52-hour matched funding appeal this week and raised £563,279. We are hugely grateful to everyone who supported the appeal, whether it was through donating, as a champion or sharing details. 

This money will help our staff and support all of the amazing work they continue to do. We have worked with the charity to identify some of the projects the appeal could help us deliver, including: 

  • more support for our staff, particularly providing rest spaces where frontline staff can have respite from the pressure and emotional strain of their busy shifts 
  • speeding up work on digital innovation so we can get patients into theatres for elective surgery more quickly  
  • speeding up research into long COVID so we can understand how best to care for patients who are struggling with this condition 

Although the match funding element has finished, the Breaking Point appeal continues; over the coming weeks you may see adverts in the local media and receive postal information if you live in areas surrounding our hospitals.

The charity’s appeal builds on the incredible generosity shown during last year’s COVID-19 appeal which secured £2.5m in financial donations, as well as coordinating millions of donated items like food and other essentials we received from the local community.

More information about the Breaking Point campaign can be found here.

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